Trabuco Vapor Company: “Capistrano”
I cover a lot of ground, on this site, when it comes to the easy-to-find and wallet-friendly vapes. But there’s a whole top tier experience that very few reviewers are telling vapers about. To me, that seems a little funny — when a liquid costs a few bucks more, it seems to me, that’s when you really want a reviewer’s opinion before you pull the trigger on that shopping cart, right?
On a personal note, that was always something that bothered me when I wrote for Spinfuel — they absolutely did not want to review what they called, “boutique” labels. I never did understand why. The fact is that the high-end labels are out there, and people might want to know about them.
So my next couple of reviews, starting with this one, are going to be of liquids that are just that little bit harder to drop money on without knowing how other vapers like them. Just because you might want to know — and I want to be the one who gets to let you in on the story. So here we go!
Trabuco Vapor Company “Capistrano” was tested on the Kamry K100 sporting the HCigar Trident V2 clone. The atomizer was equipped with a single 0.43 ohm coil composed of 24 gauge Kanthal A-1 and wicked with 100% natural hemp. Airflow was set to the medium single-coil port.
The nicotine strength I selected was 6mg/ml — vaping any higher strength on this setup is simply uncomfortable for me at this point, as the throat hit and nicotine delivery are just way too powerful beyond 6.
The presentation of Trabuco Vapor Company’s offerings is one of the most unique I have ever seen. Sadly, it’s likely to be short-lived as the shadow of FDA regulation lengthens over the industry. Let me describe the reason why:
It’s the seal of the liquid. Rather than a shrink-wrap collared child resistant cap, Trabuco has opted for an extremely classical (not to mention classy) cork stopper sealed with red wax, a la Maker’s Mark brand bourbon. It’s a simply awesome touch that you won’t find with any other eliquid maker, and probably won’t find for very much longer even from Trabuco, unless the FDA takes a hard turn in its proposed regulatory overreach.
One thing I didn’t particularly care for, where the bottling was concerned, is the fact that Capistrano didn’t arrive with any kind of dispenser — not built into the cap, but also not as an added “accessory” in the package it arrived in. You’ll want to have your own pipette or needle-tipped empty bottle handy if you want to use this liquid in anything other than an RDA.
Moving on to the bottle itself, it’s of the usual round glass variety, 30ml in size. The label continues that classic look: “Trabuco” appears in black letter text on a stretched white oblong background. Outside of that, the rest of the label is black sporting white text, with “Vapor Company” appearing immediately beneath the white oblong.
Further down, front and center, the name of the liquid appears in a typewriter-esque font. Rotating the bottle clockwise, we arrive at supplemental information: At the top, the tobaccos used in the liquid’s mix are listed — in the case of “Capistrano”, those are Virginia and Burley. Beneath the tobacco listing, we see the Nicotine strength, the Batch number, and the bottling date; these pieces of information appear to be hand-marked in silver gel pen.
Rotating the bottle back in the other direction, we find a vertically-aligned nicotine warning and “Must be 18+ to use.”
Overall, the presentation of this liquid just drips class, if you’ll pardon the phrase.
Trabuco Vapor Company Says
A blend of Flue-cured Virginia & Burley tobaccos extracted with dark spiced rum expertly garnished with blueberry and vanilla notes.
Blend and Strengths
Trabuco lists all of their liquids as 100% VG creations. Nicotine strengths offered are 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, and 18mg.
In hue, Capistrano is a deep rust. You could fill a clearomizer with this easily, but I would more strongly recommend that the only tank for a liquid like this is a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. I say that because of its 100% VG composition, which only a hand-built coil is going to unlock to the very fullest.
Speaking of that 100% VG composition, it’s wickedly apparent in the rotational test, which shows nimble movement and a flat horizon line, but a ripple pattern that’s big and thick.
What I get from the nose here is a solid foundation of pipe or fine cigar; and by foundation, I do mean foundation. Resting firm and thick on that foundation is the kind of spiced rum flavor that makes you want to take things slow and easy; not because there’s even a hint of alcohol, but because there’s so much all the rest of that mellow rum flavor that you just won’t want to rush.
A rich, sweet blueberry cream fusion is thick on top. I hesitate to make this comparison, but this liquid presents, in principle, a stunning RY4 style blend. By that I mean that it marries a tobacco with two sweet components. Beyond that, the comparison ends, because — even as close to the front door as the nose — this is a whole new show.
If you expect big, fluffy, dense clouds from a liquid packing a 100% VG pedigree, your expectations will be met with Capistrano. But one thing that surprised the hell out of me with this vape is how strong and persistent the flavor carriage is with 0% PG to prop it up.
Vaping Capistrano for about five minutes, I can step out the front door, let my nose and palate readjust to the early morning air and a cup of coffee — then step back inside, where I’m greeted with the ghost of fine cigar and Pyrat XO.
Now, what you need to know about vaping around nonsmokers — they are going to pick up that tobacco note. To an ex-smoker and now vaper like me, that heaven’s scent is heaven-sent. But you run the risk of hearing complaints from the nonsmoking set, so vape this one with discretion.
Because of the lack of PG in this vape, I wasn’t sure what, if anything, to expect in the throat hit department from Capistrano. My concern was partly justified — but only partly. This vape does pack a lighter throat hit than other vapes of equal nicotine strength, I’ll say that. On the other hand, the throat hit is there, and it is satisfying. But if you’re a throat hit fanatic, this liquid may not be for you.
It’s light, and it’s gentle — to me, though, that doesn’t make it a slouch, it just means that it’s the kind of vape that feels right, right at the tail end of the evening when I like to start winding down the day’s ferociousness and the “throat fill” sensation I get from Capistrano is more desirable than the thump I get from other vapes.
There’s no easy way to describe the flavor of Capistrano. By now, you know what goes into it; you know what the nose teases me with. But this is one of the reasons that this liquid occupies that rarified station it does: the flavor opens up that shiny gift-wrapped package and delivers an unexpectedly deeper and broader flavorscape.
As with other fine fusions I’ve tried, I’m able to taste each of the parts at the same time I experience the whole, and the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
The inhale brings on the dry, strong robustness of the Virginia and Burley to speak of an English Navy pipe tobacco, complete with that nightly rum ration. It’s on the exhale where the blueberry and cream flavors meld to round the hit out with a profound, rich sweetness.
I’ve just never had anything else quite like this.
Price and Availability
Trabuco Vapor Company’s liquids, including Capistrano, are available only in 30ml size, for what in my opinion is an extremely reasonable asking price for a vape this good: $25.00 for 30ml. Yes, that works out to $0.83 per ml. It’s my emphatic opinion that this vape is worth every penny, because you’ll savor every milliliter.
Recommendation and Conclusion
I guess I just short-circuited this section a bit back there. Now let me qualify it — each and every one of Trabuco Vapor Company’s liquids is a tobacco/sweet fusion. If you don’t like tobacco, if you avoid it like the plague, this lineup of liquids is probably not for you.
If, on the other hand, you love a good tobacco vape, as I do, then you should by all means invest in one of these flavors — it’s the kind of vaping experience you just shouldn’t pass up.